Friday, August 29, 2014
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Sometimes it's just fun to surprise people. But not when you're trying to check into a hotel. It didn't work out so well for me in Houston. Chuck had contacted me on behalf of an organization to fly to Houston and film a training video. He told me what hotel to go to, and I strolled in with my suitcase. I was confident I'd be greeted with a room number and a key. Instead I was greeted with, "Uh, I never heard of you." They had no record of me! Well, finally, after some frustration I tried one more thing. I gave them Chuck's name. Bingo! The reservation was not in my name; it was in the name of the one who was paying for it.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Name on the Reservation."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Acts 4:12; very important words. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." And the name referred to two verses earlier is "the name of Jesus Christ, whom you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead."
The verse starts out with the word "...salvation is found in no one else." What is this salvation thing? Well, obviously it implies that someone needs rescuing. Well, you and I do, because we have messed up the greatest life-or-death choice there is. We have decided the wrong person will run our lives. We've ripped our life away from the God who gave it to us and we just said, "God, I'll run it myself." According to the Bible, the One who gave you your life is supposed to run your life. But, no, each of us has defied our Creator. You have and I have.
The Bible says, "All of us have sinned and come short of God's glorious ideal." We've chosen to do what we want to do with our body, and our mind, and our sexuality, and our future, and our money, etc. Well, God's diagnostic name for that rebellion is sin. And it's terminal. We're away from God; we're separated by a wall of sin, which you can probably feel in your soul. If we die like this, we literally get the hell of never-ending separation from God and His love.
Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death." But then there's good news; the best news. "But the gift of God is eternal life." How do we get that? The Bible says there's only one name in which you can get that-the name of Jesus. See, you and I are going to keep our appointment with God someday. We all hope we're going to go to heaven. But if the reservation is in your name, you're not getting in. The reservation has to be in Jesus' name, because He paid for it. He paid for you to go there.
There are going to be some tragic surprises on Judgment Day. Someone will walk up to God and give their name and say, "Hey, look at all the good things I've done, Lord. Here are my references; all the people who will vouch for me." That's not going to be enough to get you in. Or, "Maybe, Lord, it's in my church's name, or my husband's name, or my wife's name. They're real good Christians. My parent's name." And then will come the agony of realizing that we've been depending on a name that cannot get us into heaven.
Only the name of Jesus Christ can get you in, because it took His death on the cross. He is the only Savior there is. There are other religious teachers, there are religious systems. There are a lot of good works. None of which can satisfy a perfect God. Only Jesus paid the price with His life. And God says, "What will you do with Him? Salvation is in no other name." So we need to walk up to God and say, "Lord, look under Jesus. I know that He died on that cross for me. I've accepted His death for me as my only hope. I've made Him my Savior and my Lord. My reservation is in Jesus' name."
If you've been depending on anything else to get you to heaven, this is your day to pin all your hopes on the only one who can take you there. That is God's Son, Jesus. Get this settled, for tomorrow is never guaranteed. I'd love to help you get this settled. If you'd just go to our website, it's what it's there for – AnewStory.com. I will meet you there and tell you how to get started with Him.
I'll tell you, if your heaven reservation is in Jesus' name, I'll tell you what you're going to hear from God, "Welcome home!"